Lekagar, the Black River
The Lekagar, which literally means Black River (Lek - Black, Agar - River) is a large river that runs through the eastern portion of the Kenerif Continent. It has its sources in the mountains of the Ancestor Desert and empties into the The Sunken Lands at the Void Lagoon. Throughout most of history, the river was a major border between two major powers until they merged into the single nation that makes up modern day Vefaria.
The Lekagar is host to numerous plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the river system. The river system runs through several different biomes from high mountains and grasslands, to low lying swamps and forests, to coastal marshlands. The black color of the water is due to the high concentrations of tannic acid from the plants growing near the river, giving the water a permanently darkened appearance through nearly its entire length. This water empties into the Void Lagoon, which also gets its name from the blackened waters.
The River's main source lay in Halana's Glacier. The melt water flows into cracks in the ground, into the Lureshei Neron, or Crystal Caverns. These caverns form one of the only exit points for water leaving the Crystal Highsands, a large endorheic basin that is entirely a desert. In ancient times this desert was an inland sea, but nearly all of the water has evaporated away or drained to lower elevations. Due to the mineral content of the water and the high temperature in the caverns, large clear crystals line the walls and ceiling.
On leaving the cavern, the river flows quickly through the Crystal Valley, a large grassland that has large quartz everywhere underground. The most important city here is Alma-Wreth, a large town that has several operational mines in the area. The crystals mined from this area are critical for many sensitive electronic components. As many wars have been fought for control of Alma-Wreth as have been fought for control of the city of Vorem-Wreth at the mouth of the river.
Plains of Serenity
After running through some thin valleys, the majority of the river's course is through flat plains. The river is wide and flows slowly here. Thick forests grow all over and only the smallest hints of former Regalti civilization can be seen, usually the overgrown ruins of old factory cities, but also several large orchards of Veil Trees and similar plants. This part of the river used to be a major industrial area, one of the largest on the Planet Collena, but it has mostly returned to nature in the last few hundred years.
Near the mouth of the river is the Void Lagoon, itself a sunken extension of the Lekagar's river delta. The deep black waters of the Lagoon host a variety of life and have inspired several stories throughout the history of the region, including the Trugor Noraya, also known as the Hatred of the Colorless Girl.
The region is notable for the numerous ruins along the shores of the lagoon from almost every time period. Regalti have tried for thousands of years to fully settle the region. The last major settlement here was the city of Vorem-Wreth, which was destroyed several hundred years ago during a war.
In ancient times, the Lekagar was over 500km longer than it is today. A Tectonic rift affecting the southwest of the continent was draining magma underneath what is the modern day Sunken Lands. The River originally flowed directly into the Orgon Entar, or Eastern Ocean, but by roughly 2500 B.E., the river retreated to its present day location. This time period was capped by the eruption of Edagatsra, the boiling mountain, in 2429 B.E. This super eruption caused such a large ashfall that the Lekagar was completely black, and for several years the surface of the river was as thick as sludge. This is when the River got the name 'Lekagar' and the original name of the river was lost to time.
The old mouth of the River flowed through a region known as Ladgan, the remaining area is a collection of Swamps, fresh and saltwater, as well as numerous islands. Much of the freshwater life that lives here has been separated from the mainland for several thousand years and have already diversified into new subspecies.
In Ancient times, the Nation of Vefaria was on both sides of the river, but in 2428B.E., due to natural disaster and mismanagement, the north rebelled against the south, and the nation split in two, Vefaria was south of the river, and the new Empire of Araka was north of the river. For the next 2000 years, Araka and Vefaria were bitter rivals, only separated by the wide Lekagar River. East across the sunken lands was a third empire, Ladgan, that was neutral.
The Lekagar is a naturally wide and deep river, with only a handful of crossings. Travel along the river for thousands of years was accomplished by boat or by tying together floating grass. Located near the mouth of the river was the city of Vorem-wreth. Numerous wars over the centuries have been fought for control of this city, because control of this city means you control the river, which means you control Vefaria and Araka and the entire eastern half of the Kenerif Continent.
400B.E. to 270 B.E. - Tevari control and the War of Purges
In the year 400 B.E., both nations were subjugated by the Tevari imperium. Tevari built up the infrastructure of both nations, built a rail network, and built bridges across the Lekagar. In the year 271 B.E., the Tevari Emperor died with no heirs. This fractured the empire into hundreds of splinter factions, all fighting over control of the largest empire in Regalti history. This started the War of Purges, a devastating war of succession where each faction fought and wiped each other out until only a few remained.
When the War was nearing its midway point, one Tevari faction had subjugated most others, and they restarted their rule over the whole world. The other nations of the world each started declaring their independence. The nation of Vefaria and Araka joined together into one nation, using the many bridges the old empire built across the Lekagar, uniting into one people once again, and declaring war on Tevari.
The Fevarik front of the War of Purges was centered around the city of Vorem-Wreth, as control of that city would give control of the eastern half of the continent. The Tevari gained control of the city. They then started to destroy the many bridges to isolate the nations. A miscalculation from the Tevari cost them the war though. Their main airfield was on the Edagastra island to prevent attacks from the mainland. Edagastra was still an active volcano. It erupted once again, destroying their air force, which allowed Vefaria to claim victory.
Tevari was desperate for a victory, and started an aggressive bombing campaign to try to gain control. The city of Vorem-Wreth was completely destroyed during the war. Rather than rebuilding, Vefaria left the city abandoned and started the construction of new cities in other locations along the river. Nature quickly reclaimed the city in the centuries after this.
269 B.E. to 354 A.E. - Industrial buildup to the Exodus
After the war, Vefaria built many factory cities along the Lekagar, gaining an incredible amount of industrial capability in a short amount of time. The nation became a technological powerhouse and helped lead the way into space. This quick buildup heavily polluted the main river though, killing off countless plants and animals during this time.
Then the Exodus happened. Billions of Regalti left their homeworld. The great factory cities of Vefaria were abandoned, as was their use of the Lekagar. what few Regalti remained no longer had an impact on the river. It took several centuries, but animals that had lived in the tributaries moved to the main river, and the River once again was filled with life. Most bridges that cross the river fell into disrepair and there are only two rail bridges that cross the main river now. The River now no longer plays an important role in history and has been reclaimed by nature.
River EcologyWhat follows are several selected species that live on the river, from each major group of animals, as well as several different plants::
Lizards and Flying Lizards
IkandiJinani or four legged bird. These herding animals eat seeds and small animals. They are able to swim and are often spotted near the shores of the Lekagar standing in the water with their heads below the surface, searching for food. They also peck at trees to get to the tasty sap underneath and are responsible for turning large areas of forests into grasslands around the river.
Bladed CaeciliansThese extremely rare serpentine amphibians look similar to thorny vines. They live in the most humid parts of the Lekagar river system near the Void Lagoon. Their bodies are covered in rows of venomous spines that can kill just about any animal it comes into contact with. They hunt by just hanging there, for weeks or months, until sufficient prey comes along. Usually they hunt smaller animals. The moment it determines that it wants this next meal, it activates its many venom glands and immediately constricts and flails violently around, cutting into the skin of whatever creature it wants to catch. After being poisoned, the prey dies within several minutes, then the Bladed Caecilian reveals its head, and it slowly feasts on the carcass for several weeks.
Cloud Flower Super Blooms that clog the surface of the river.